Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. In our last message, we also looked at Galatians 5:22,23, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at those again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s talk about kindness in action.
1. If you look at the definition of the word kindness, you will quickly see why God wants us to be kind.
Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) defines the word kind as:
— disposed to do good to others
— to make others happy by granting their requests
— supplying the wants of others or assisting them in distress
— actions that proceed from goodness or tenderness of heart.
The same dictionary defines the word kindness as:
— goodwill, benevolence
— a disposition that delights in contributing to the happiness of others
— A desire to cheerfully gratify the wishes of others, supplying their wants, or alleviating their distresses
— kindness accompanies love (Acts 28)
I like to use the old dictionary (1828) because it often quoted or referenced the Bible, as was the case in this example.
Please take a moment and look at these two definitions. These actions are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If you say God lives IN you, what you just read is part of how you should live.
2. Part of the definition of Godly kindness is “a disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others.”
When the Holy Spirit leads you to put kindness into action, you go out of your way to BE a blessing to others because you want to. You enjoy it. You get true satisfaction of our BEING a blessing to others, even when they did nothing to earn or deserve your actions towards them.
Missions work is a great example of this. My wife and I go on Missions trips. We get Godly satisfaction from BEING a blessing to others. We seek to express the love of God in acts of kindness, and we don’t do it to get anything back from the people God is using us to BE a blessing to. We do it because we are led by God to do it. We do it because it is an expression of God’s love towards others. We do it because God is kind, and since He lives in us, we are also supposed to be kind.
3. Kindness in action is a fruit of God’s Spirit and an expression of God’s love.
a) The Holy Spirit will lead you to have empathy towards others to the point where you truly connect with them and their plight. After your heart is full of compassion (like Jesus’ was), the Holy Spirit will lead you to do things to help others in their time(s) of need simply because you love them.
b) God’s love is always one-sided. Love does not consider the actions of others towards you before initiating action towards them. You seek to BE a blessing simply because the love of God fills your heart.
c) God is love, and all the fruit of God’s Spirit emanates from love. When you put kindness into action, you seek to help others and make them happy simply because you want to, because the love of God fills your heart. You are not doing it because they earned it or deserve it. You are treating them the way God treats you. God is good to you because He loves you, not because of your performance.
4. The Apostle Paul said, “Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
— A [Godly] kind person is constantly looking for ways to be a blessing to others.
— They are always seeking opportunities to do good.
— They get excited when an opportunity presents itself for them to meet the needs of another.
What kind of testimony would the church have if a majority of Christians truly walked in kindness? If we walked in the love of God to the point where we were literally looking for ways to BE a blessing to others every day?
I can tell you that there is a great need for kindness today. When you think of the charged political climate between the parties in the United States, the civil unrest we have experienced over the last few years, and the countless people who are struggling with mental health after dealing with a global pandemic, this is a great time for the church to put kindness into action!
Believers drive to church buildings to worship a God they cannot see. But when we leave those church buildings, it is time for us to BE the church with the people we see every day. It is a lack of kindness that turns people away from God. No one wants to worship a God represented by selfish, self-seeking, and unpleasant people. If God lives in us, it’s time for us to let Him out, so the world can come in contact with Jesus when they come in contact with us!
5. Please don’t tell me you love a God you cannot see when you can’t stand the people you see every day.
John said, “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 Jn 4:20).
— Your love for God is proven and exemplified in your love for man.
— Think about all your faults, flaws, and failures, and then think about how much God loves you. He loves you by grace, not merit. He extends grace, mercy, and forgiveness towards you every day. In the same way, you are supposed to offer and extend the love and grace of God to others.
— I tell you all the time, “recipients of grace must become extenders of grace.” Part of living #TheGraceLife is seeking ways to BE a blessing to others and then ENJOYING it as you do.
As I release you into the weekend, I do so with this thought, “Love is kind. God is love. He is kind to me. He lives in me. It’s time for me to express His kindess to others. Kindness is not kindness until it is put into action!“
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I have a disposition that delights in contributing to the happiness of others. I seek to make others happy, and I enjoy it. I seek to be a blessing and not a burden. I seek to build others up, and I never tear them down. And I am NOT motivated by their actions towards me.
I am not seeking to do good to them because they did good to me. I do this simply because Your love fills my heart. You love me, and You bless me by grace. So I do the same for others. I gave the grace to be kind and put this kindness into action.
I love others and seek to bless them by grace, which is unearned, unmerited, and undeserved. I enter this day with my heart attuned to Your heart. I am listening for Your leading. Lead me to those You want to bless, and I declare that I will be the channel through which Your love will flow. I am a conduit of Your love and Your light in this world! This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.